Friday, February 16, 2007

Mud monster!

Pretty foot!

What's over here?

This is kind of scary!

I don't wanna!

Okay, I did it, now I get some grass...

What a beautiful day today! Bright sun, a little less mud, and lots of time spent with my boy. I trimmed his feet, which he was very good for. Well, he did kick me... I'm not sure he meant to, but I think he probably knew exactly what he was doing. He wanted his right hind back, and I didn't give it to him, and he ended up taking it, with a little tap against my thigh JUST after he got it back. Quite quick. He got in big trouble, had to back all over the place, circle and yield a lot, and then right back to trimming. He didn't do it again. Other than that he did really well.

Then I got him onto the driveway to check my trim, since it's a hard level surface. And we went for a small walk halfway up the driveway, played in some puddles, and then walked out into some standing water in the long grass. Went back, looked in the tack/feed shed, gave him a bite of Roseanne's alfalfa. Sniffed a tarp. Then on to the field where the board and the branches are, and walked over both, calmly and slowly. Took some patience, don't get me wrong, because he didn't really want to, and then he wanted to rush the second half, but we got it done right after a try or two. Then on down the driveway to see the Sox's and check out the drainage ditch there. I got him to WALK over it, rather than jump, at a point where the banks weren't high, but where the banks were higher he insisted on jumping. I think he knew what I wanted, as I could shut down his jump and get him to step one foot at a time at the shallow spot, but he just didn't want to walk down into the creek where the banks were higher. Went back, did a slight amount more work on one hoof, and then reluctantly put him away.

He was so relaxed today! Not so boogery around the yard where all the toys are. And happy to be out and about, I think.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I love this horse!

Tonight I took a step stool into the stall with me when I went to do the compress and antibiotics. I figured I could stand on it and groom him, see what happened. He really needed the grooming, he is a mud monster! I expected him to act funny just seeing the step stool when I led him into the stall, but he didn't care. Cozied right up to it while he ate his hay and I "compressed" his owie. Climbed up and brushed both sides, being pretty ostentatious about the fact that I was on both sides at once. He sure didn't mind. He did pay attention to what was going on, but was not at all worried for the most part. Went to other side, my natural mounting side, did same. He was goofier about that at first. Still didn't actually move, but really watched me, and tensed up a bit at first. He settled in, and I bumped his side, brushed both sides, leaned way over, thumped the other side gently with the brush. Pretended to be about to throw a leg over, bumping and rubbing the side of his rump with my knee and foot. He thought that was weird at first. Finally I put almost all my weight on his back several times, but I couldn't totally commit because I had lumpy objects in the front of my coat (ouch on his back) and I wasn't wearing a helmet, and I had told nobody of my plans... He was wonderful through it all. What a great horse! Then I moved my stool back, unhaltered him, and just sat and listened to them all munching.

What a great night.

Monday, February 12, 2007

This morning is an odd one... I'm feeling a bit off. Ever have days like that? Not bad, just weird. I think the horses are feeling that way too. Or maybe they're just feeling good! I had to leave the bucket for the warm compress inside so I could take the dogs out, so I got everyone's grain (minimal+vitamins for the horses, lots of grain for the calves) and went to give Tonka his antibiotics. He decided to let me know he wasn't interested in being caught. He hasn't done that for a long time! He was bucking and running, and Danni (the race horse) was REALLY putting on some speed. Lyric of course was being a basket case. I'm not sure if he was enjoying himself as much as the other two were, or if he was just reacting. Finally Tonka turned back before I asked him to, turned back again, and faced me. In essence, he said, "Okay, I'm done now." I haltered and medicated him, and gave him some love.

Then I went to feed the two Soxes at the other end of the driveway, COMPLETELY forgetting to give anyone at this end hay. So had to go back out there. They're all looking at me like, "What? Why? Where?" And soon I will have to finally get around to the warm compress. I decided to have another cup of coffee first.

Tonka is SO covered in mud. It's disgusting. Most of the others are too. I need to get some chips or gravel or SOMETHING. I wish we had a big farm truck to get a load of hog fuel (wood chips/strips, don't know why they call it that) from the local mill. But one pickup load wouldn't go far... Could make several trips... Spring is good, nice to have more daylight, but I hate mud.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

If those of you who are horse owners don't mind, I'd love if you answered some questions on my hoof care survey.

Thank you!

Monday, February 05, 2007

YAY! Vet came out, said he could be wrong (longshot) but it's not strangles! Not the right size/shape or in the right spot. Lungs good, eyes good, no nasal discharge... I do have to put him on antibiotics for at least a week. Yuck. Steve (vet) started talking about penicillin and I cringed. He then asked if I had sulfas, and YES, I have LOTS, and they don't involve painful injections. Wonderful good. I like to mix pancake syrup (low-cal) with my drugs, it makes it so much easier. The reason for the antibiotics is some nasty bacteria that can get into wounds like this. Steve's horse recently got a splinter under the jaw and had to be on antibiotics for a month. Hope I don't have to do that!

He was really impressed with how well behaved Tonka was, and liked the way he was put together, other than that he's pigeon toed. Then he went on to say that his horse is pigeon toed so it's no big deal, just makes them more predisposed to splints. That explains why Tonka got that splint so easily. I love talking about my boy and having other people admire him! He's so great.

Steve agreed that he shouldn't be doing any long hard rides this year (the trainer I'm considering takes them on 15 mile rides). So I think I'm going to pony him, saddle him, ride him around a bit, and send him for serious training this time next year when I'm gone for farrier school anyway.

He's just starting to lose the first of his baby teeth, so he's probably closer to 2 1/2 than 3.

Tonka is a darn special horse. I just love him more and more all the time.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Just quickly updating. Nothing new with Tonka's sickness. He appears to be happy and healthy. Except for that little abscess. Which still looks the same. I think I'm going to urge the vet to come out, unless he thinks there's a good likelihood he won't find anything. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Tonka is sick! Well, not really sick. He acts the same as ever, but he's got an abscess under his jaw and one eye is goopy. So of course we have to worry about strangles. We won't know for sure until I can get it to come to a head so I can get a culture. In the meantime he's in quarantine, back in the "mustang pen" he lived in when he first came here.

Quarantine is a nasty word and I hate it! It's really hard to figure out how I'm going to keep from getting germs anywhere. Separate clothes/boots when I deal with him... bleaching everything... Ugh. I am not generally a clean freak and this is so weird for me. Slipping into cold boots and clothes left outside just for the purpose of dealing with him... Brrr. And he's so unhappy out there. Not depressed, more keyed up. It is a good bonding time though. I just hung out with him for a while this morning after we did the warm compress. He'd stand with me, go look for other horses, eat a couple bites, come stand with me again. It's nice to have him looking to me for comfort. Not that we didn't have a good relationship, but this kind of forces us to spend time together, with nobody else to distract us. Like a second honeymoon... Gotta look at the bright side, right?

Well, I'm off to shop and try to find some cheap or disposable coveralls... what a nightmare.

(I had to come back and edit, I realized I don't sound worried about my boy... I'm trying not to be, because it's probably not strangles. I'm trying not to think about it too deeply. I start thinking about him getting really really sick, or the whole herd getting sick, and I get pretty freaked. So yeah, I am worried. Not being heartless, just trying to keep my chin up!)